Wize, James Edward

WIZE, James Edward (1862-1921), the son of William Wize, a farmer at Clifton, Ont., was born in Stamford, Welland County, Ontario on 18 October 1862. He received his early education at Stamford and moved west to Victoria, B.C. in 1882 to begin work as a contractor and builder. He then moved to Vancouver where was in partnership in the firm of Wize & Cicley, Contractors (R.T. Williams, Vancouver City Directory, 1888, 42). He studied architecture in his spare time while continuing to pursue a career in building construction and in 1893 he moved to the Kootenay region of British Columbia to engage in industrial enterprises and in the mining business in Rossland (Henderson's British Columbia Gazetteer & Directory, 1900, 579). He left that province in late 1902 and was drawn to Edmonton, a city undergoing rapid growth during the first decade of the 20th century.

He began to advertise himself as an architect in early 1903 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 30 April 1903, 1, advert.), and became well-known for his commercial, residential and institutional designs. His best known work there was the Alberta Hotel (1903), an eclectic interpretation of the Romanesque Revival style which remains a landmark on Jasper Avenue. His professional success and the respect of his architectural colleagues in Alberta earned him the nomination of President of the Alberta Association of Architects in 1908. Wize remained active until 1912 but no references to his work after that date can be found. He may be the same 'J.E. Wize' listed in a different role as the proprietor of the Corona Hotel in the 1916 Edmonton City Directory. A portrait of Wize can be found in the annual edition of the R.A.I.C. Proceedings, ii, 1908, 88 (biography in Archibald O. MacRae, History of the Province of Alberta, ii, 1912, 861-2; inf. from Dennis Person, Edmonton). Wize died at Victoria, B.C. on 27 October 1921 (obituary Victoria Daily Times, 28 Oct. 1921, 10; obituary Edmonton Bulletin, 30 Oct. 1921, 3).

(works in Edmonton unless noted)

VICTORIA AVENUE, at 4th Street, residence for Fred Ross, 1903 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 11 June 1903, 1)
ALBERTA HOTEL, Jasper Avenue at Fraser Avenue [98th Street], 1903 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 16 July 1903, 1, t.c.; 30 July 1903, 1, descrip.)
SALVATION ARMY BARRACKS, Fraser Avenue, 1903 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 14 Sept. 1903, 1, t.c.)
STRATHCONA, Baptist Church, 2nd Street at Athabasca Avenue, 1904 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 4 June 1904, 6, descrip.; and 30 Sept. 1904, 5, t.c.)
STRATHCONA SKATING RINK, East Railway Street at Lumsden Avenue, 1904 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 22 Nov. 1904, 2, descrip.)
STRATHCONA, public school, 1905 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 29 April 1905, 4, t.c.)
ROYAL TEMPERANCE HOTEL, Fraser Avenue, for C.E. Bevington, 1905 (Edmonton b.p. 34, 25 May 1905)
LEDUC, ALTA., a brick commercial block, for an unnamed client, 1905 (Edmonton Bulletin, 9 May 1905, 4, t.c.)
6th STREET, between McKay Avenue and Hardisty Avenue, residence for Thomas M. Turnbull, 1905 (Edmonton b.p. 171, 23 Sept. 1905)
8th STREET, between Jasper Avenue and Victoria Avenue, residence for Dr. M.W. MacAuley, 1905 (Edmonton b.p. 188, 23 Sept. 1905)
STRATHCONA, St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church, 1st Street N.W. at 2nd Avenue N.W., 1906 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 6 June 1906, 2, t.c.)
STRATHCONA, Roman Catholic Separate School, Lumsden Avenue, 1906-07 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 5 Jan. 1907, 2, descrip.)
DAYSLAND, ALTA., Fire Hall, 1907 (Const., i, Oct. 1907, 63)
BANK OF COMMERCE, Jasper Avenue East, addition, 1907 (Const., i, Oct. 1907, 64)
4th STREET, residence for Dr. John A. Hislop, 1907 (Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 7 June 1907, 6, t.c.; Const., i, Oct. 1907, 66)
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOL, Kinistino Avenue at Picard Street, 1908 (Edmonton b.p., 20 July 1908)
WIZE BLOCK, Jasper Avenue West, between 6th Street and 7th Street, a four storey commercial block for the architect, with 4 retail stores, designed 1907 and built 1908, and renamed The Corona Hotel in 1912 (Saturday News [Edmonton], 16 Feb. 1907, 4, descrip.; Edmonton b.p. 314, 16 June 1908)
MacLEAN BLOCK, Jasper Avenue at 107th Street, for Dr. J. Douglas MacLean, 1909 (Edmonton b.p., 7 April 1909; City of Edmonton, Historical Walking Tours of Downtown Edmonton, 1988, 19, illus.)
9th STREET, at Victoria Avenue, commercial block for an unnamed client, c. 1910 (A. MacRae, History of the Province of Alberta, ii, 1912, 861-62)
JASPER AVENUE, at 108th Street, commercial block for W.N. Condell and Dr. J.D. MacLean, 1911 (Edmonton Capital, 3 May 1911, 1; Edmonton Daily Bulletin, 6 May 1911, 1; C.R., xxv, 26 April 1911, 55)